sustainability

Nestlé onboards suppliers to help cocoa farmers with climate change

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Cocoa farmers in Cote d'Ivoire plant new seedlings to promote agroforestry. Pic: Nestlé
Cocoa farmers in Cote d'Ivoire plant new seedlings to promote agroforestry. Pic: Nestlé

Related tags Nestlé Sustainability Cocoa Chocolate

Nestlé has announced it is launching two new projects to help address the impact of climate change on cocoa and reduce and remove carbon emissions from its supply chains—as part of its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Developed with suppliers Cargill and ETG | Beyond Beans, the five-year projects will promote agroforestry, accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture, and support the reforestation of degraded lands around cocoa farming communities.

Nestlé confirmed that different, multi-purpose shade tree species will be distributed to farmers, who will learn tree planting and pruning.

Shade trees are used to help reduce the harsh effects of the sun and provide moisture-rich spaces for cocoa crops to survive during the dry season. They can also improve water management and enhance on-farm biodiversity, as well as absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.

Collectively, the projects aim to plant over two million shade trees on land managed by close to 20,000 farmers in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. Together, they are estimated to reduce and remove over 500,000 metric tonnes of carbon over a 20-year period.

"These projects are important milestones on our journey to net zero. We're working to address our emissions all the way to the farms we source from," said Darrell High, Global Cocoa Manager at Nestlé.

"Long-lasting forest protection can only happen when collaborating with fully committed suppliers, like Cargill and ETG | Beyond Beans. We also depend on the participation of local communities, which impact the forests and can help find land-use solutions best suited to the local reality."

Cocoa plan

Close collaboration with local communities is a key aspect of the projects. Participating farmers will sign up on a voluntary basis and should already be part of Nestlé’s sustainable Cocoa Plan.

The trees' survival rate is also an important success factor. Farmers will receive an incentive payment when they plant the tree seedlings and care for them during the critical initial years. Regular farm visits will also be performed to monitor and provide advice and technical assistance where needed.

Carbon reduction

"We are proud to partner with Nestlé on this ground-breaking carbon reduction project that transitions away from business as usual," said Remi van Balen, Programme Manager Agroforestry and Environment, ETG | Beyond Beans.

"Our project design has a holistic landscape approach that goes beyond cocoa plots and involves the whole community in reforestation initiatives. These initiatives not only create job opportunities but also connect, restore, and protect valuable community forests."

While Ursule Gatta, Cargill Partnership Officer Ivory Coast, said: "This initiative can really make a difference. Our ambition is to scale up the project to cover 18 cooperatives over five years, aligned with the Nestlé Income Accelerator program. We are very proud to be a part of this."

Related news